Here’s something unusual: an MGA that’s been lavishly restored in the US, with a five-speed Ford ’box and MGB cylinder head
What’s it like TO Drive?
The changes to this MGA have made it more usable rather than vastly quick, resulting in a happy cruiser at motorway speeds. The gearbox hasn’t swallowed up too much of the engine’s low-down torque and the gears are well spaced compared with a four-speed car with overdrive. There’s no musical gear whine either. The rest of the car appears to have been kept as original as possible, but the brakes cope surprisingly well with the extra power and the steering inspires confidence. The suspension is also free of slack.
This car has undergone extensive restoration in the USA. The paintwork is flawless, and what’s particularly nice is that it doesn’t look like the shiny two-pack that these cars normally end up wearing, but is closer to the finish it would have had in 1959. There’s only the tiniest amount of dulling of the chrome around the MG badge on the radiator. This must already have been an excellent car prior to restoration, as we can see no evidence of welding or other work. The panel fit is good and there’s no creasing on the car’s flanks. The chassis looks as sound as when it left the factory, and the hood is excellent too. The wire wheels have no signs of scuffs or wear.
HOW’s The Interior?
Seats have been retrimmed to a very high and authentic standard, down to the pleat in the middle of the centre armrest. Door cards have also been renewed, with the screw heads remaining exposed as original. The wood-rimmed steering wheel looks new, and the dashboard has been finished to the highest of standards. The instruments are all in showroom condition, as is the wood-topped gear lever.
Under The Bonnet
Every item under this MGA’s rust-and dint-free bonnet has been beautifully detailed, and appears to have had a lot of time and money spent on it. Ever the heater box looks like new. The rocker cover is in the correct shade of dark red, with an exciting glimpse of the MGB-spec cylinder head below it. The engine runs superbly and there’s no sign or sound of that aluminium cylinder head causing any problems; our test drive revealed no indications of overheating and there’s no evidence of leaks or seepage.
This US-restored car is in superb condition, although it’s a shame it doesn’t come with much in the way of history. This one has certainly had every minor detail attended to and drives extremely well. The vendor will convert it to right-hand drive if required.